Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Breck Bartholomew
Photo Copyright Breck Bartholomew

Smith's black-headed snake, Tantilla hobartsmithi, is a small snake native to southwestern Utah, other parts of the southwestern United States, and northern Mexico. The species is secretive, and although it may not be exceedingly rare in Utah, it is seldom found in the state.

Smith's black-headed snake eats small invertebrates, including beetle larvae, caterpillars, and centipedes. Females of the species lay a small clutch of eggs (it is not uncommon for a clutch to include only one egg) during the summer. Smith's black-headed snake is usually found in open areas of grassland and woodland habitats, often near stream corridors. The species is active from late spring to early fall.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.